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Rodgers: Balotelli to stay and fight for Liverpool place

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Mario Balotelli will struggle to get into his side at the moment, but confirms the Italian striker will stay with the club.

Balotelli is yet to score in the league since joining from Milan in the summer, and has been left out of the matchday squad recently, but doesn't look set to leave in the January transfer window.

Mario Balotelli is a complex character. Credit: PA

"It's been a difficult period for Mario but he wants to fight for an opportunity here."

After Saturday's draw with Bolton, Rodgers confirmed that Balotelli has been absent as his style was not suited to Liverpool's tactics.

“We spent about an hour or so chatting. He understands where it is at. He knows what is required to get in the squad - the pressing and aggression - and if you can’t do that you are not going to be part of the team. We suffered in the first four months of the season and we can’t go back to that."

Henderson happy Liverpool avoided upset

Jordan Henderson has the armband against Bolton. Credit: PA

Liverpool vice-captain Jordan Henderson says, considering other results, he is pleased his team didn't lose to Bolton.

The Premier League side could only muster a goalless draw against Neil Lennon's men at Anfield.

It was obviously a big shock for City, Chelsea and Tottenham to go out but the main thing is we are still in the competition.

To be honest we were pretty focused on what we were doing but the results came on the tannoy and one or two players might have heard but at the same time we just focused on what we needed to do.

We've seen it for many years, lower league teams have beaten Premier League teams and Saturday was no different but we have shown good character to not lose the game and that is the main thing.

We are a bit disappointed we didn't win but we are still in the draw and are looking forward to the game on Tuesday.

– Jordan Henderson


FA Cup teams: Liverpool v Bolton


Liverpool keeper Mignolet staying calm over form

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet insists he is not getting carried away with his recent performances and believes the team will not let an impressive display against Chelsea affect their focus.

The Belgium international has conceded just one goal - Eden Hazard's penalty in Tuesday's 1-1 Capital One Cup semi-final first leg - in three matches.

Simon Mignolet started the season poorly. Credit: PA

"I spoke to the gaffer about what I needed to work on during my time out of the team," he said.

"I've just tried to keep my head down and work hard in training.

"I won't get carried away with one good performance. I have to keep doing my job every single week in, week out.

"That is my job. I don't have to get carried away with these kind of things - I just have to keep doing it.

"There are lot of big games coming up with a lot to play for and we all want to do well."

Chelsea boss sorry to see Liverpool skipper Gerrard leave

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has expressed disappointment that Steven Gerrard is leaving the Premier League and joked he should try to sign the former England captain on loan.

Gerrard will move to the Los Angeles Galaxy when his Liverpool contract expires at the end of the season.

Jose Mourinho and Steven Gerrard shook hands on Tuesday night. Credit: PA

Mourinho was asked on BBC Radio 5 Live if he should have a word with Gerrard and persuade him to stay, and said: "Or to get him on loan."

The tongue-in-cheek remark comes after long-serving former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard ended up with Manchester City this season, after an apparent deal with New York City FC seemed to mean his Premier League career was over.

Mourinho said of Gerrard: "I'm not happy he leaves. I would love the Premier League to keep always the best players.

"I think he has more than enough quality to play in the Premier League. In spite (of the fact) he's my opponent, I feel sorry that he's leaving."

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